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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They get what they deserve

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Algiers Charter Schools Association teachers

were awarded bonuses for raising their students' standardized test scores. The bonuses were a result of ACSA's participation in the Teacher Advancement Program. TAP is a national organization that seeks to attract, develop and retain talented teachers through professional growth, peer collaboration, classroom evaluation to improve teaching skills and mentoring. Teachers are offered opportunities for higher salaries and advancement without leaving the classroom.

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Torrie Johnson,

a former resident of the Lower Ninth Ward now living in Lexington, Ky., is giving 2,600 Valentine's Day gifts to the faculty, staff and children of Tates Creek elementary and high schools. Johnson evacuated to Lexington during Hurricane Katrina and, after losing her New Orleans home, decided to stay there with her five children, husband and extended family. Johnson says her family was treated with kindness and generosity after the storm, and she wants to return the favor.

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Berklee College of Music,

the nationally and internationally recognized school in Boston, Mass., has collaborated with the Tipitina's Foundation for an after-school music program for local high school students. Thirteen students take part in the two-days-a-week program, which provides professional musician mentoring, ensembles for working on performance skills, and recording and production opportunities. Two of the students will receive scholarships for summer study in Boston.

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Krewe of Orpheus

announced this week that comic Carlos Mencia would be one of its celebrity riders this year. After YouTube videos of Mencia making bad jokes about Hurricane Katrina made the rounds, citizens emailed the krewe to object. On Thursday, krewe organizers said they were unaware of his remarks when the invitation was issued and announced Mencia would not be part of the parade. Good for Orpheus for doing the right thing — and doing it so quickly.

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